Augmented Reality Wayfinding: The Future of Indoor Navigation

With the earliest examples of modern-day signage tracing back to ancient Rome, we’re no strangers to using signs to help us navigate large buildings and areas. Nevertheless, the conventional wayfinding systems we grew up with and became accustomed to are far from perfect. If they were, why is it still so easy to get lost in an airport or a hospital?

Let’s face it, no one likes getting lost, especially not when we’re pressed for time. To counter this, businesses of all shapes and sizes, from airports to shopping malls, are incorporating technologies like touchscreens and interactive kiosks to supplement their existing indoor navigation systems. While these do help, they still don’t solve the problem of getting lost. And that’s where Augmented Reality is playing a pivotal role in the future of indoor wayfinding.

Augmented Reality for Indoor Wayfinding

Signs and interactive kiosks are good, but they’re not perfect. So, why can’t we just use GPS like we do outside? There’s a couple of reasons why outdoor navigation systems like GPS won’t work indoors, with the main one being that GPS simply doesn’t work in concrete buildings. Concrete affects GPS signals in the same way it affects cell phone signals. Additionally, commercially available GPS technology, like what’s in our smartphones, is only accurate to about fifteen feet, which is less than ideal when dealing with small, complex spaces.

On the other hand, AR wayfinding merges physical and digital navigation to create an effective and comprehensive system. Using AR filters to overlay data over real-world objects, businesses can develop apps to guide users in unfamiliar areas to exactly where they need to be. Think Google Maps, but indoors.
One of the best examples of modern AR wayfinding is in London’s Gatwick airport, the world’s first airport to incorporate Augmented Reality maps into their indoor navigation. Harnessing over 2,000 indoor navigation beacons, the airport’s indoor navigation system uses AR to provide “blue dot” navigation similar to what we see in mobile navigation apps. Through Gatwick’s official app, passengers can easily find out where they are and make their way to departure gates, stores, facilities, and more.

How Can AR Wayfinding Help You?

The overwhelming benefit of AR indoor wayfinding is that enhances your visitor’s overall experience, which in itself is reason enough to adopt this futuristic technology.

As to how the technology can be implemented, the same idea behind Gatwick’s indoor wayfinding system can be applied to virtually any business or event. If the idea of AR wayfinding is something that interests you but you haven’t got the time or budget to develop a custom app, nor do you know exactly what features you’d like to have, there are plenty of ready-made and customizable solutions available. Untitled Project’s new indoor wayfinding system is a perfect example of how one solution can be adapted to a variety of different settings.

Launched Q4 2020, Lightmap is a comprehensive wayfinding system whose features include:

Indoor A–B Wayfinding: Help your users navigate from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Find My Family: Users can locate family members quickly and safely in retail environments.
Covid Safety: Helps users avoid high-traffic areas.
Near Me Now: Finds nearby offers related to users’ interests.
Voice Search: Search for products in stores using voice commands.
Send Lightmap: Allows users to create custom lightmaps and leaves a breadcrumb trail for others to find them. Ideal for new environments and crowded places.

Untitled Project: Leading the Way for Indoor Wayfinding in Singapore

As one of Singapore’s leading AR filter companies, Untitled Project is paving the future for this incredible technology in the Lion City. Connect with us today to find out how easy it is to get started on your very own AR wayfinding system.